Collective Housing | Academic | Barcelona | 2020
Suport collab: Miguel Valle + Virginia Cid

The Fontana metro station, located in Gracia´s neighborhood offered an extraordinary opportunity to rethink the way we build the city as well as the residential Architecture, understanding social collective housing as a way to improve urban life and social cohesion.

Thus, the new residential building takes advantage of an urban void right in the middle of the city so as to offer to the neighborhood a hybrid landscape of residential shelters that merge with each other in common open spaces for interaction, exchange, socialization and enjoyment of community life. Different users are invited to find their home in the variety of dwellings that give a response to nowadays needs.

The traditional concept of home and family has changed, this means that the historical ideal of one same house for all stages of life is not more an aim. So, the presence of temporality needs to find its place in Architecture, and TRANSHUMANTE is the response to that. A flexible, open, democratic Architecture that can stand the change of users through time and the mutation of their spaces.

The building merges with the city in one public ground floor elevated over the metro station, opened to the neighbours to use it as working space. On top, 5 storeys are occupied by finished-unfinished dwellings that may be used for a more temporal or permanent activity by students and young professionals, “pos-nuclear families” and social housing users. Disposed in an open grid with alternate open spaces, the units are linked up by a PLUS open space that improves the environmental quality of the dwellings at the same time that allows a huge number of possibilities for community life, such as shared kitchens, gyms, chill green spots and meeting areas, among others.

The gradient of privacy turns into a blurred division that will change depending if the users want a more shared lifestyle or a more intimate one, opening or closing the units ‘shell. The rooftop hosts a green co-shared space with picnic and relaxing areas as a meeting point for all users.

The requirements of the program in which this social housing project was originated, pushed was to propose a fast, low-cost and sustainable construction. A big-span spatialized metal structure encloses the co-working space and acts as a transfer beam. Over it, a combination of 3D wet modules, vertical and horizontal CLT panels and columns generate the structure of the building. As a ventilated façade, a second polycarbonate envelope appears surrounding all the units and increasing the environmental performance of the building. This envelope is made up by horizontal translucent and opaque slats that can be operated so as to gain heat in winter or cool the spaces in summer. Several chimneys over the plus space also contribute to generate a comfortable inner space boosting stack ventilation.